Music Reviews



MINUSHEART: Disease

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Oct 30 2009
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Artist: MINUSHEART
Title: Disease
Format: CD
Label: Echozone
Distributor: Masterpiece Distribution
Rated: *****
Formed in 2007 by Diver and Benden, Minusheart are releasing for Echozone their debut album DISEASE. Containing ten tracks and four remixes the album proposes a varied blend of electro ebm music influenced by industrial and electro pop. Tracks like "Don't feed the cats", "Feel the pain" or the opening "Icehouse' are good for clubs with their 4/4 pumping drums and others like "Future lies" (this one is my favorite because of its dissonant piano and mysterious sounding vocals coupled to upbeat rhythms) or "Burning star" (a melancholic dark electro pop mid tempo with male/female duet and guitar riffs) are showing a different side of Minusheart's sound focusing the sound on melody and rough/soft sounds contrast. Most of the tracks with upbeat rhythms recall me the ebm bands that were recording for KK and I think that Diver and Benden have been influenced by the sound of Vomito Negro or Force Dimension. The four remixes by Fragment Machinery, Accessory, Config.Sys and Momolith offer a mix of industrial, ebm and a bit of goth (check the opening of Fragment Machinery's version of "Iceburn") but don't excite me too much (except for Fragement Machinery) as they tend to flat the sound to only one genre thing that Minusheart succeeded to avoid.
Oct 29 2009
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Artist: Life Cried (@)
Title: Banished Psalms
Format: CD
Label: NoiTekk (@)
Rated: *****
One of the most difficultly reachable goal of a plenty of ebm-gothic and electro dark bands consists mainly not only in finding a personal style, but keep on developing it without appearing banal and repetitive and carefully avoiding clichés and boring imitations. That's the goal Life Cried, the electro act led by the American musician Chris Reject (what a guessed nickname for such an artistic identity!), seems to have been reached in spite of the apparent stasis of the genre and that's maybe the reason they're not so prolific as other bands crossing the same musical fields: Banished Psalms is just their second full length album issued on the renowned German label Noitekk added to their discography even if the band's active since 1999 as it was necessary some ears to refine their sound which looks quite recognizable nowadays even if some tracks remind repertoires belonging to acknowledged mile stones and new levers of the scene such as Combichrist, Hocico, Dawn Of Ashes or Psyclon Nine.

The spellbound play of these banished psalms begin with a catching seraphic chorus and a tonal fragmentation on pianos introducing on the desperate self-tribulation of Another Sacrifice, which seems to narrate the psychological drama of an evil person divided between consciousness of guilt and the impossibility to avoid evil. Some chunky metallic screams and a bulldozing snare and bass-drum sequenced march of Bloodstained looks more accessible than similar electro-dark movements by other bands, while you'll easily appreciate the controversial between the harsh "rotulation" of kicks as well as the dirty percussive sets and the lull traced by piano and atmospheric sounds on the lush Dressed In Filth as well as the well-crafted hybrid of traditional Industrial style and brutal metal splinters exhibited in Bound In Hate, a track featuring the appearance of Nero Bellum (Psyclon Nine) on the keyboards (you'll get aware about the fact you should learn the art of refusing from Mr Reject when you're going to listen the scratchy guttural way he uses to sing "Hey, is this what you want from me? Oh that isn't enough, now bleed nut I said no, but I said No, this isn't what I want.."... really freezing and persuasive!!!). The evocative piano pieces Alone with realistic and dramatic samples of a weeping woman looks like a sort of prelude for the smashing fury of Preacher, whose infernal aura spitting fire and violence from a metallic 4/4 techno groove perfectly fits the ferocious and conscious '“stricken tormented words of the song reaching the peak when the shouting screams of the singer sing "we are crawling in ruins/ripped up inside/I've seen me insane/I felt my head fall/it took me to bleed"... words which look copied from a page of an imaginary notebook describing a fatal but temporary irritation. It seems the singer abandons its ferocious mood in the more melodic More To Tarnish, even if the lyrics oozes with desires of revenge and destructive purposes ("I used to hate myself for what I have done/Now I save myself from what went wrong/I destroy everything that comes my way"). Procession, Rigor Mortis stands as another prelude of the hard-hitting 5-minutes long Solemn, while Forbidden walks on the same path of the mentioned moods standing like an execration of the damages caused by despair and blind fury deriving from a blinded reason ("you fight the disease but you're causing the war/you fight the disease but you're causing more" are praiseful and prophetic words!). The enchanting and more experimental moody Derelict ends an interesting album which is going to disclose something deeply embedded in your memory!

COBRA KILLER: Uppers & Downers

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Oct 26 2009
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Artist: COBRA KILLER
Title: Uppers & Downers
Format: CD
Label: Monika Enterprise
Rated: *****
After eleven years and four albums Gina V. D'Orio and Annika Line Trost are still able to entertain and surprise their audience. In the past they toured with Peaches, Sonic Youth, Marylin Manson and Jon Spencer and they convinced all of them about their ability to create a fresh mix of electronic music/punk/pop. Thanks to this appreciation, on their fifth full length album UPPERS & DOWNERS Gina and Annika have J. Mascis, Thurston Moore and Jon Spencer as special guests. The eleven tracks of the album sounds dissonant but at the same time they are kinda pop thanks to their vocal duets. Samples are used heavily but they are always functional. Guitars and weird electronic sounds often clashes and form a good energetic music background. Sometimes melodies recall me 60's girl bands and this create a particular effect with the weird electro punk music they make. UPPERS & DOWNERS sounds entertaining, intriguing and melodic and I'm suggesting you to check it... for real!

VV.AA.: Help Can\'t Wait

 Posted by Andre Wiegand   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Oct 25 2009
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Help Can\'t Wait
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Black Rain Rec.
Distributor: D: Nova MD GmbH A: Rebeat Music Vertrieb S: Non Stop Music Records
These are usually George Clooney, Oprah, Brad and Angelina, and other stars of the entertainment business that are known for their charity projects aiming to help the starving and the deprived. The Gothic scene has not yet become known for such activities if I’m allowed not to mention a small number of exceptions. The main reason for that is probably that nobody makes any real money here unlike in Hollywood unless your band plays Wembley. Therefore it is especially good to hear that the guys from Elektrofront Erzgebirge, Black Rain and Promofabrik started a charity project with a purpose to help children in Bihar, the poorest province of India. All the money gained with the sells of this 2CD compilation goes to Humedica, the project of the PENIEL SOCIAL INSTITUTE. With that income two school, an orphanage and a hospital will be supported.
The "Help Can’t Wait" compilation unites over thirty artists of the contemporary dark electro scene all of whom contributed their works with altruistic and non-profit intentions.
Now, except for your wish to help the children in Bihar, why should you purchase the 2CD? Let me mention just a handful of artists that are featured on it: Leaether Strip, Die Krupps, Vigilante, Jäger 90, Soman, Elite, Die Perlen, A Spell Inside, Wynardtage, Cephalgy, Project Pitchfork, Wintry, Black Wedding etc. Many of the titles are released as remixes.
The opener by Leaether Strip bears the title of the whole album and sets the motto for the album; dark, intensive and urgent. TET offer a track for fans of military themes. Der Gleichstrom throw into the listener "Antagonist" that will not make anybody fall asleep. The German Industrial Rock dinosaurs Die Krupps contributed a live version of "Für einen Augenblick" which is no worse than the original in any aspect.
Phase III enliven the atmosphere a bit with their "Es wird dunkel". The song is about our fun and funny scene and the lyrics include names like: Tilo Wolf, Aderlass, Die Verbannten Kinder Evas, Schelmisch, Rammstein, Letzte Instanz etc. put together in peculiar combinations that always make me grin when I listen to it. Black Wedding close with Schnitter Tod" (Reaper of death) according to their traditional electronic but slower manner and remind everybody that one day we all will leave the theater on earth, each in his way. Wake up, people and do something good out of your lives. You only have got one. And making this world better is a part of that. More than worrying about your puny existence only. If only just a couple of you will by this limited to 1000 copies compilation, I’ll consider my good deed for today done. Thank you for your help.

In[Perfektion]: s/t

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Oct 24 2009
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Artist: In[Perfektion] (@)
Title: s/t
Format: Download Only (MP3 only)
Label: Enoughrecords (@)
Rated: *****
Another goody out of the rich source of the Portugal-based Enough Records label, offers us now the debut release of IN[PERFEKTION]. They decided to come out with their early demo recording, because this music project around mastermind Walter and his female half Charlotte (Walter is also part of the Hellektro Holocaust-recording artist HYSTAKMINE...) recently works hard on the last production efforts of an official debut album. And friends of the rather poppy sounding Futurepop-genre should continue to read on, since these first 4 tracks can be seen as Portugal’s answer on ASSEMBLAGE 23. A very good timbre of Walter, plus a not-so-obviously-danceable song composition effort, keeps these 4 tracks amazingly interesting. Some would call it a weakness, not to concentrate completely on dancefloor-compatibility, but – wouldn’t a track like the opener "Closure" offer the same impressive magic with this extravagant drum programming than with a rather 4/4-oriented kind of work? Not at all – track 4 "Willing For Suicide" attracts with a dreamy and catchy synth pad sound. It’s all well done with this four tracks and this band should be able to earn a rich harvest also on international events.


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